CHAPTER 2 – STORM
The next day there was a great storm. I was scared and this time I could see that the other sailors were also very scared. The captain was walking in and out of his cabin. He was quietly saying prayers.
I was so scared I could only lie in my bed and hope we would survive.
When I looked out of the window of my cabin, I saw the waves. They were as tall as mountains. I saw other ships which looked like toys. The waves were playing with them.
One sailor shouted that a ship went under water in front of us. I was terribly afraid and I regretted that I didn’t go home after the first light storm.
The storm was getting worse and now all the sailors were praying we would survive. Suddenly someone shouted that there was a hole in the ship and water was coming inside the ship. Everyone was called down to pump the water out. I was paralyzed with fear, and I couldn’t get out of my bed. Then one man came to me and told me to go down and help. So I went. I was pumping out the water when the captain ordered someone to fire a gun. It was a signal that we were in danger. I thought we were sinking, because the ship was full of water. I thought we were all going to die.
We were all working very hard but the water kept coming into the ship. The storm wasn’t as dangerous anymore but the ship was already badly damaged. Our captain continued firing guns for help. There was a small ship in front of us which sent us a boat. The sailors on that boat risked their lives but managed to reach our ship. With great difficulty we all boarded the boat. We couldn’t think of going back to their ship which was already very far. It was too dangerous. So we decided to try to get to coast instead.
Fifteen minutes later our ship went under water. We were safe on the boat, but I was still very afraid. We were soon close to the land and we could see many people on the beach. They were waiting for us. When we finally reached the land, the people were very nice to us. They helped us find rooms and gave us money to get to London or go back to Hull. I decided to go to London.
I travelled to London by land. The whole way I was thinking what to do and where to go. I was too ashamed of myself to go back home.
In London I met the captain of another ship who often travelled to the coast of Africa. He offered me to travel with him.
Before we left London, he advised me what to buy for trade in Africa. At that time I only had £40. This journey was successful because I returned to England with some gold which was worth almost £300. The journey was also good for me because the captain taught me something about mathematics and navigation. I learnt what was necessary to become a sailor and a businessman.
Soon after we came back to England, the captain died. I decided to make the same journey to Africa with the same ship but another captain.
This journey started well. But soon we had big problems. A ship started chasing us. It was a pirate ship. It continued the whole day. At about three in the afternoon the pirates came very close.
There was an attack, but we managed to push them away. On the second attempt, many of their men came on the ship and they started destroying everything. Some of our sailors were killed and some were injured, so we had to give up. All of us were taken prisoners.
WORDS FROM CHAPTER 2